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>  News Releases >   2005 >   April

Tom Brokaw to give Dartmouth Commencement Address on Sunday, June 12

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 04/28/05 • Contact Roland Adams (603) 646-3661

Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw

Listen to Dartmouth commencement live online:

Tom Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" who recently stepped down after more than two decades in that position, will deliver the main address at Dartmouth College's 2005 Commencement exercises on Sunday, June 12, on the Dartmouth Green.  Brokaw is also one of eight individuals who will receive honorary degrees at the event.

The academic procession to the Green begins at 9:30 a.m., and visitors are advised to be in their seats by that time.  Commencement ceremonies begin at 10 a.m.

Other speakers for the event will include Dartmouth President James Wright and the valedictorian of the undergraduate senior class, who is announced the week of commencement, after final grades are calculated.

The College expects to award approximately 1,000 bachelor's degrees and approximately 500 master's and doctoral degrees in the Arts and Sciences and from the College's three professional schools: Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business.

At commencement, Dartmouth will confer honorary degrees on:

  • Dr. Norman E. Borlaug (Doctor of Science). A central figure in the "green revolution" that dramatically increased production of food crops worldwide over the last six decades, Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his lifetime work to help feed a hungry world. As a young research scientist working in Mexico in the mid-1940s, Borlaug first developed successive generations of wheat varieties with broad disease resistance, adaptability to growing conditions across many degrees of latitude and exceedingly high yield potential. The wheat varieties Borlaug and his many scientific colleagues developed are today grown on more than 187 million acres throughout the world and may well be responsible for saving tens of millions of people from starvation.
  • Tom Brokaw (Doctor of Humane Letters). On Dec. 1, 2004, Brokaw stepped down after 21 years as anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News", but plans to continue reporting and producing long-form documentaries and providing expertise during breaking news events for NBC. Over the course of more than four decades, Brokaw built a distinguished journalistic career in which he achieved many "firsts" won many awards and became one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism. He has become equally well known as author of four best-selling books, including The Greatest Generation, The Greatest Generation Speaks, An Album of Memories, and A Long Way from Home.
  • Lucille Clifton (Doctor of Letters). The only poet to have two books named as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in the same year (1988), Clifton has won many fellowships and awards for her poetry and children's books. Most recently she was honored by the Cleveland Foundation with a Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. A former Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland, she is currently Distinguished  Professor of Humanities and the Hilda C. Landers Professor in the Liberal Arts at St. Mary's College of Maryland.
  • Mary Sue Coleman (Doctor of Science). President of the University of Michigan since August 2002, Coleman is professor of biological chemistry in the U-M Medical School and professor of chemistry in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She served as President of the University of Iowa for seven years prior to her appointment at Michigan. In addition to serving in a series of other leadership positions in higher education, she has compiled an outstanding career in biology and chemistry. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Coleman has also become a national spokesperson on the issue of university admissions and affirmative action, as a result of the admissions lawsuit in which the University of Michigan prevailed in 2003.
  • Thomas H. Kean (Doctor of Laws). Kean served as chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, which was appointed to investigate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and produced a widely lauded report.  He has been President of Drew University since 1990 and also was a two-term Governor of New Jersey. As governor, Kean was rated among America's five most effective state leaders by Newsweek magazine. In the last 15 years he has focused on shaping Drew into one of the nation's leading small liberal arts universities. He plans to step down as President of Drew this summer.
  • Dr. Mathilde Krim (Doctor of Science). A biomedical scientist who is a leader in the battle against HIV/AIDS worldwide, Krim was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian honor in the United States - in 2000. She founded the AIDS Medical Foundation (AMF), the first private organization concerned with fostering and supporting AIDS research, in 1983. Two years later AMF merged with a like-minded group based in California to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), which works to mobilize the public's generosity in support of AIDS research and prevention and the development of sound AIDS-related public policies.
  • Gordon W. Russell '55 (Doctor of Humane Letters). Russell has had a long and distinguished business career in a variety of senior management positions in the biomedical and healthcare industries and was for more than 20 years General Partner at Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm. He has had a parallel career as a member of and supporter of non-profit service institutions, including the Sun Valley Writers Conference, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Woods Hole Research Center, Ravenswood Family Health Center, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Peninsula Community Foundation, the Dartmouth Native American Program, the Dartmouth Center for Advancement of Learning and the Board of Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School. 
  • The Honorable Andrew Young (Doctor of Laws). Young has held a wide variety of leadership positions over the last several decades.  Beginning his career as a top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights movement, he went on to be elected to three terms as a U.S. Representative before being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Subsequently he served two terms as the Mayor of Atlanta and served as Co-Chairman of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.  Today he is Chairman of GoodWorks International, which works to foster long-term economic development in Africa and the Caribbean by creating successful business partnerships between private sector corporations and decision-makers in those emerging markets.

Saturday, June 11: Speakers for Dartmouth professional schools' Class Day and Investiture ceremonies; and for Baccalaureate Service

A variety of ceremonies take place the day before Commencement, including Class Day and Investiture ceremonies for Dartmouth's three professional schools, and Baccalaureate, a multi-faith religious service open to all graduates and their guests. Those events and their speakers are:

  • Dartmouth Medical School:  9 a.m., Derzon Courtyard (front lawn) at DMS. (In case of rain, Leede Arena, 11:30 a.m.) Speaker: William H. Foege, Senior Medical Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. He is a former Director of the U. S. Centers for Disease Control (1977-83), a former Executive Director of the Carter Center, and a member of the CARE USA board. In September 2001, he was honored with the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service in Support of Medical Research and Health Sciences, one of the most coveted prizes in the field of biomedical research. His accomplishments include work in Nigeria that ultimately led to the eradication of smallpox in the 1970s and helping to unravel the mysteries of Toxic Shock Syndrome and Reyes Syndrome.
  • Thayer School of Engineering: 10 a.m., Cook Auditorium, Murdough Center. Speaker: Thomas J. O'Neill, a 1973 graduate of Dartmouth and 1974 graduate of Thayer School, who is President and CEO of Parson's Brinckerhoff (PB), one of the oldest continuously operating engineering firms in the world. Today, the firm stands as a leading planning, engineering, program and construction management, and operations & maintenance firm.  PB provides comprehensive infrastructure services on six continents and has helped shape public works projects on a global scale, from Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel to Britain's rail system Network Rail; from the Sabiya power plant in Kuwait to Cairo's Metro and the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System in Singapore. O'Neill will also receive the Thayer School's 2005 Robert Fletcher Award for distinguished achievement and service.
  • Tuck School of Business: 3 p.m., Tuck Circle. (In case of rain, Leede Arena, same time.) Speaker: Curtis R. Welling, a 1971 graduate of Dartmouth and 1977 graduate of the Tuck School, who is President and CEO of AmeriCares, a non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization. AmeriCares provides immediate response to emergency medical needs around the word and also supports long-term health programs in countries. In its 22-year history AmeriCares has delivered more than $4 billion in aid to 135 countries.
  • Baccalaureate: 3 p.m., Rollins Chapel. (Remote viewing in 105 Dartmouth Hall.) Speaker: The Honorable Andrew Young. (See biographical background above on honorary degree recipients.)

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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